Ca Ira is set in the early years of the French Revolution; characters include Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, and Marie Marianne: "the Voice of Liberty, Reason, and the Republic." The recording features operatic luminaries Bryn Terfel, Paul Groves, and Ying Huang.
Ca Ira was one of eight recordings appearing on the chart for the first time this week. Violinist Andr_ Rieu's The Flying Dutchman debuted at number two; soprano Ren_e Fleming's Sacred Songs at number three; pianist Fazil Say's Black Earth, which features his own compositions, at number six; soprano Dawn Upshaw's recording of Osvaldo Golijov's Ayre and Luciano Berio's Folksongs at number nine; a recording of Steve Reich's You Are by cellist Maya Beiser and the Los Angeles Master Chorale at number 14; Fazil Say's recording of Beethoven sonatas at number 22; and cellist Matt Haimovitz's Goulash, which mixes classical, rock, electronic, and Middle Eastern music, at number 23.
A number of big names were pushed aside by the new entries. Mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli's Opera Proibita, which topped the chart for the last two weeks, dropped to number five; violinist Joshua Bell's recording of Tchaikovsky dropped from number two to number four in its second week on the chart, and his compilation The Essential Joshua Bell fell from number four to number ten in its third week. EMI's Tristan und Isolde with Plšcido Domingo fell to number seven in its fourth week, never having risen higher than number two.
The debut album from Il Divo remained at number one on the classical chart, with Josh Groban's Closer and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's Love Is Spoken Here at number two and three for the third straight week. New to the chart was the self-titled CD from the East Village Opera Company, which performs opera arias in a rock setting.